In less than a decade, Apple completely changed the world of personal computing, and the music industry in the process. First came the iPod and the iTunes Store; then the iPhone and App Store; and then the iPad. The Apple of the 2000s was an exciting company to follow. It's just not that company anymore. Instead, it's spent the past few years slowly improving its admittedly great cash cows, iterating and iterating and iterating. It's made cheaper iPhones, bigger iPhones and even gave in and made a phablet. It's made cheaper iPads, smaller iPads and is apparently planning a bigger iPad. It's made cheaper MacBooks, smaller MacBooks... you get the point. Its latest project, the Apple Watch, sure looks like a smartwatch, and it might be very successful, but is it doing anything totally unique? Is it really exciting? No.
The 2000s Microsoft, on the other hand, spent its years trying to fix Vista, Internet Explorer and Windows Mobile -- playing catch-up. Apart from the success of the Xbox 360, it had a pretty rough time, even if it was never in trouble financially. But let's briefly summarize what Microsoft, energized by the appointment of Satya Nadella as CEO almost a year ago, just showed us. An operating system that runs universal apps across PC, tablet, phone and Xbox One. Streaming games from your home console to any Windows PC or tablet. A voice assistant for your PC that seems like a prequel to Scarlett Johansson's AI in Her. HoloLens. I mean, HoloLens! Microsoft is promising to make the distant dream of functional AR a reality very soon. It even held people's attention while showing off a new enterprise PC.